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TerritoryMonti di Villa
Monti di Villa

Monti di Villa is 597meters above sea level and 10kilometers from Bagni di Lucca, starting from Ponte di Serraglio taking the junction at ‘la Cova’ passing through Granaiola and Pieve di Monte di Villa.It’s divided in three populated areas: Lugnano the most highest overlooking the valley of Fegana and the valley of Camaione 700meters in altitude,Bugnano the lowest area today not populated and Riolo the nearest to the stream Camaione characterised by its small square and the church of San Nicola. Lugnano originates from the name Laurius,Bugnano from roman settlers Apuleius.

The History
Lugnano is remembered in parchments of the years 891 and 901.Bugnano in records of 913,983 and 991.In the church records of Lucca in 1250 Lugnano and Bugnano result as independent parishes, not under Villa Terenzana (now Pieve di Monti di Villa).In the 17th century the church of Bugnano every year made tribute to Saint Peter of Rome,in records of the period 1570-1580 Lugnano and Bugnano became known as one parish.In the baptism records the first baptism to take place in this parish was in 1618.The castle of Lugnano is 500meters above the village and not easy to get to,it has a church dedicated to Holy Mary,it was the so called ‘old church’ known also as the church of Sant’Antonio, it was built in the 11thcentury by the countess Matilde,today there are only ruins.The castle of Bugnano also had a church dedicated to San Donato, built under the castle in a place called ” vinea brunarii”, but this was also in an akward place for the population to get to.There was also a castle at Riolo, it had not got a church, this two churches had there own individual priest,as they were out of hand and distant the population decided to make one large central church and to have one parish.But the permission had to be given to them by the priests and noblenmen.The population vowed to God and the Vergine Mary that if permission was given they would paint in honour of the Vergine Mary ,an image of Foce Colonia.In 1593 they built the church and the central aisle was dedicated to Santa Maria and Sant’Donato the two saints of the old churches.It also had an oratory called San Michele di Mezzano as it was built in the middle of the three castles.In 1611 the bell tower was built .In 1633 the churches cross was built and a few years later an oratory dedicated to the Santissimo Crocifisso.It’s organ is of the 19thcentury.Even the castle of Riolo had a church built in 1671 dedicated to San Nicola and its organ is of the second half of the 17thcentury.In this period the dead were buried under a small roof to the right of the church,but in 1884 this was prohibited and for the next three years while the cemetery was being built the dead where brought to the cemetery of the Pieve di Controne, when the cemetery was finished 30 corpses were returned to the cemetery of Monti di Villa.The emperor EnricoVI in 1886 gave back to Lugnano there castle to thank the population for there help in the fights agaisnt the papacy.Lucca placed them under the parish of Coreglia,then under Borgo a Mozzano where it remained until the 19thcentury.In 1890 the villages of Granaiola,Pieve and Monti di Villa requested at Rome if they could be part of Bagni di Lucca,this happened in 1893.There’s also a shrine of “Foce Colonia”(locally called Sant’Anna) that for over 400years the picture of Our Lady has been worshipped, by all the population of the territory near and far. The building of this church was told by Father Cesare Franciotte in “Vite dei Santi Lucchesi” published in 1613. The two communities of Lugnano and Bugnano after their vow built this chapel in 1564 and a few years later an artist ot Lammari,the master Sebastiano drew a portrait of the Vergine Mary, similar to Madonna dei Miracoli.It was visited by many and a few graces have being given.So it was decided to extend it and make a church finished in 1609,the lodge outside the front was built in 1674.Because this church is facing the sea lots of sailors and seamen prayed to the Vergine Mary asking her to watch over them while at sea,every year from the port of Livorno from 1800 they sent donations to the Madonna del Monte Coronato.A chaplin was elected by the population of Monte di Villa, approved by the bishop, to say mass everyday and when the chaplin was absent a hermit looked after the church.A Monti di Villa the 15thAugust is celebrated the feast day of the “Assunta” and on the 16th after mass the statue of Our Lady is brought down from the alter.

Famous People
Nicolao Tomeoni (1763-1830) born in Bugnano. Scholar in plumbing.
Matteo Trenta (1817-1856) priest and soldier.

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